Ladder users get rung out

Lunchtime joggers using Jacob’s Ladder the week before it closed indefinitely.
       Picture: Caitlin Tiller
Lunchtime joggers using Jacob’s Ladder the week before it closed indefinitely.        Picture: Caitlin Tiller

A TEMPORARY fence will be erected to stop people from using Jacob’s Ladder while it is closed indefinitely for a safety survey.

The City of Perth closed the popular exercise destination yesterday but council has not indicated when the stairs will reopen.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said there was no option but to close the area due to the nature of the testing.

“In the interests of public safety it is imperative the structural survey is conducted,” Ms Scaffidi said.

“While the City acknowledges Jacob’s Ladder as an important fitness and tourist destination, public safety is the priority.”

Ms Scaffidi said invasive testing was required to determine ongoing safety of the structure, which was built in the 1960s.

A City spokesman said observations from ongoing monitoring led to the need for a more thorough structural survey.

Exercisers in the area late last week said the Kokoda Track and Mount Street were possible alternatives for regulars while Jacob’s Ladder was closed.

A Mount Street apartment resident of three years, who only wanted to be known as Marian, said she was not a regular user of Jacob’s Ladder but was not worried about how its closure would affect her.

“Sometimes it gets busy in the morning but it’s all right,” she said.

Marian said she was not worried about a possible increase in the number of people exercising on her street as an alternative.

In September 2015, the City rejected a request from West Perth residents to introduce after hours closure of the 242-step concrete stairs after complaints of anti-social behaviour from visitors.

A September 2015 council report said the issue of adverse amenity to residents in Cliff Street, Mount Street and Bellevue Terrace had been a concern for several years and while the City endeavoured to control the use of the area by fitness business operators, this had not been totally successful and complaints had continued.

Ms Scaffidi said Jacob’s Ladder, which is legally |a road, could be closed |for “an extended period pending results of the structural survey”.